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Taxation and Portfolio Structure: Issues and Implications

  • James M. Poterba

overview of how taxation affects household portfolio structure. It begins by outlining six aspects of portfolio behavior that may be influenced by the tax system. These are asset selection, asset allocation, borrowing, asset location in taxable and tax-deferred accounts, asset turnover, and whether to hold assets directly or through financial intermediaries. The analysis considers how ignoring tax considerations may bias estimates of how other variables, such as income or net worth, affect the structure of household portfolios. The paper then describes the tax rules that apply to various portfolio instruments in a range of major industrialized nations. This illustrates the wide variation in the potential impact of tax rules on portfolio choice. Finally, the paper selectively reviews the existing evidence on how taxation affects portfolio choice. A small but growing literature, primarily based on the analysis of U.S. data, suggests that taxes have important effects on several aspects of portfolio choice. There remain a number of decisions, however, for which it appears difficult to reconcile household choices with tax-efficient behavior.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8223.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8223.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
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Publication status: published as Guiso, L., M. Haliassos, and T. Jappelli (eds.) Household Portfolios. MIT Press, 2001.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8223
Note: AP PE
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  1. Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-29, September.
  2. McDonald, Robert L., 1983. "Government debt and private leverage : An extension of the Miller theorem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 303-325, December.
  3. Christopher D Carroll, 2000. "Portfolios of the Rich," Economics Working Paper Archive 430, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  4. John B. Shoven, 1999. "The Location and Allocation of Assets in Pension and Conventional Savings Accounts," NBER Working Papers 7007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Haliassos and Alexander Michaelides, 2001. "Calibration and Computation of Household Portfolio Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 194, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Balcer, Yves & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. " Effects of Capital Gains Taxation on Life-Cycle Investment and Portfolio Management," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 743-58, July.
  7. Auerbach, Alan J & King, Mervyn A, 1983. "Taxation, Portfolio Choice, and Debt-Equity Ratios: A General Equilibrium Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 587-609, November.
  8. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
  9. Hubbard, Robert Glenn, 1985. "Personal Taxation, Pension Wealth, and Portfolio Composition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 53-60, February.
  10. Constantinides, George M., 1984. "Optimal stock trading with personal taxes : Implications for prices and the abnormal January returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 65-89, March.
  11. Hochguertel, Stefan & Alessie, Rob & van Soest, Arthur, 1997. " Saving Accounts versus Stocks and Bonds in Household Portfolio Allocation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 81-97, March.
  12. Feenberg, D.R. & Poterba, J.M., 1991. "Which Households Own Municipal Bonds? Evidence from Tax Returns," Working papers 588, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Poterba, James M. (ed.), 1994. "Public Policies and Household Saving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226676180.
  14. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 43, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  15. Carol Bertaut & Martha Starr-McCluer, 2000. "Household portfolios in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-26, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Auten, Gerald E & Clotfelter, Charles T, 1982. "Permanent versus Transitory Tax Effects and the Realization of Capital Gains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 613-32, November.
  17. Agell, Jonas & Edin, Per-Anders, 1990. " Marginal Taxes and the Asset Portfolios of Swedish Households," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(1), pages 47-64.
  18. King, Mervyn A. & Leape, Jonathan I., 1998. "Wealth and portfolio composition: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 155-193, June.
  19. Maki, Dean M., 1996. "Portfolio Shuffling and Tax Reform," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(3), pages 317-29, September.
  20. Umlauf, Steven R., 1993. "Transaction taxes and the behavior of the Swedish stock market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 227-240, April.
  21. Leape, Jonathan I., 1987. "Taxes and transaction costs in asset market equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-20, June.
  22. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Personal Taxation and Portfolio Composition: An Econometric Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 631-50, July.
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